A letter from the President

Staff Reporter

BANGALORE: President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam always has a word of encouragement for children. At the inauguration of the Bangalore International Centre here on Monday, he called onto the dais Eniya Vimalesan, a fourth standard student at Cathedral School, and spoke to her about her ambitions. He asked the girl what she wanted to be, and was happy when she said she would like to become a doctor.

Eniya had been to the Rashtrapathi Bhavan last year and was keen on meeting the President. However, she was not able to manage it. She wrote to him that she had come to meet him. She got a response, which she has got laminated. Of course, it is among her most favourite possessions.

When Eniya heard that the President was going to be in town, she was determined to meet him. She missed her school sports day on Monday to attend the Bangalore International Centre programme.

To bring home the point of "dharma" and "ahimsa", the President, in his inimitable style, told the audience stories from the life of Mahatma Gandhi during his stay in South Africa and about the launch of the dharma movement by Emperor Ashoka following his change of heart after the death and destruction he caused during the Kalinga War.

The President recited a few lines from a poem: "Where there is righteousness in the heart, there is beauty in the character. When there is beauty in the character, there is harmony in the home. When there is harmony in the home, there is order in the nation. When there is order in the nation, there is peace in the world."